Friday, April 16, 2010

The installation of the 3ABN Busselton 400 watt narrocaster on 1629 kHz

The 3ABN AM 1629 kHz mast adjacent to a mobile phone tower, situated just north of Busselton, Western Australia (Photograph with kind permission from Rosemary Malkiewycz).

3ABN Australia

3ABN (Three Angels broadcasting Network) Australia is part of the world wide ministry of 3ABN (situated in southern Illinois USA) and looks after the ministries' work in Australia and New Zealand. The Christian broadcasting network includes TV, radio, books, and music. 3ABN can be viewed around the world via satellite, the internet and on cable TV in many places.

John and Rosemary Malkiewycz have been running 3ABN Australia from Western Australia since 2003. In March 2010, they relocated their operations to the east coast (1.5 hours north of Sydney) where they plan to build a new studio and head quarters. This will include a radio studio for producing local content to be aired around the world as well as in the area.

The recent installation of 3ABN's first AM expanded band narrocaster just north of Busselton provided an opportunity to post a brief article from a broadcasting perspective. My thanks and appreciation to Rosemary Malkiewycz for providing most of the information and kindly allowing me to publish the photographs.

The installation of the 3ABN Busselton 400 watt narrocaster on 1629 kHz

The concrete foundation/mounting for the AM mast. There is a ceremic insulator between the two plates. This structure still requires guy wires to anchor it in place (Photograph with kind permission from Rosemary Malkiewycz).

The following extract from an open letter, written on January 11th 2010 by Rosemary Malkiewycz, provides a brief insight into the hard work behind the installation of the station, situated just north of Busselton WA :

" ... John has spent two weeks working on the installation with a few others helping him. Thankfully Daniel has had those two weeks off work and has been able to come down here to help. The two of them leave the house between 5 and 7 in the morning getting home between 7 and 9:30 pm. The weather has been mainly hot with some days in the 100 F range and they are working in a hot, dry, sandy field. Four other friends have helped on different days when needed, such as putting in the guy wire footings and transmitter hut floor, erecting the tower, and putting the ground mat in. They have been a big help. The only thing left to do is to have the fence around the antenna put up and that will happen on Tuesday ... "

Assembling the "top hat" frame which sits at the apex of the AM mast. It is designed to electronically lengthen the physical mast (Photograph with kind permission from Rosemary Malkiewycz).

After approximately 10+ months of work, the 400 watt narrocaster commenced broadcasting on the 7th January 2010.

The original 3ABN signal is downloaded via satellite (Optus D2) and rebroadcast on 1629 kHz via a 1 kilowatt Blythe transmitter.

Another view of the completed installation. Click onto the image for a higher resolution (Photograph with kind permission from Rosemary Malkiewycz).

The height of the antenna tower is 30m (98.425 ft) with 60 x 30m copper wire radials in the ground mat. A 6m (19.685 ft) “top hat” at the apex of the antenna effectively increases the range of the signal which is apparently audible in Perth’s northeast suburbs over a distance of 200 km (125 miles) away.

The small green shed, surrounded by a fence at the base of the antenna tower, most probably houses the transmitter.

The proposed installation of the 3ABN Perth 400 watt narrocaster on 1629 kHz

3ABN Australia has a second AM expanded band license and will also operate on 1629 kHz in Perth, using another 1 kw Blythe transmitter. Due to the location in the metro area, the station will apparently have to use a different antenna set up. Reciprocally, the signal may not travel as far as Busselton. However, my guess is that the additional narrocaster from Perth will probably enhance the unusual skywave propagation to this part of the world!

1 comment:

Dave G4OYX said...

Hi there,

The little building next to the antenna mast will most likely house the Antenna tuning unit and the building shown on another pic will house the Blythe transmitter, AC distribution, satellete rx equipment and the programme input equipment.

Dave G4OYX

BBC Senior TX Engineer (ret'd)